Articles + Research

Is COVID “Organizational Transformation” a Fad Diet?


Many employers sent employees home mid-March (variable globally). Most organizations held their breath while doing what they needed to do to get people working from home. What was previously “impossible”, to have the entire workforce working remotely, suddenly became possible, we did it.


However, maybe we had the capability all along and we have other forces at play – the “real rules”, the real identities of our organizations and our leaders. How we see ourselves is a powerful force. Are we any different now than we were before COVID? The obvious answer is yes, but I would argue that depends.



Individual Transformation Leads to Organizational Transformation

For a transition to occur, we need to see ourselves, and our organizations differently. This is a gap between lasting change and change that sticks for a short duration. When someone tries to change You, a change is imposed on an existing “system”, it comes from the outside-in, and often it bounces off – like a fad diet.


For a “culture change” for example, we’re aiming for a culture transition, a shift in identity, a growth of new culture, rather than an imposition of a system on a system. When you decide to make a change and sustain it, it starts from within, growing outwards through tiny steps, to change us and who we are, to transform. Therefore, we as individuals must transform for our organizations to transform.